NEWS - Friday, March 29, 2002

(RUMOR) - Xbox Live?!?

In a recent interview with IGN Gamecube, Nintendo officials Jim Merrick and Perrin Kaplan, slipped out what they believe are the details of the Xbox's online service. Although no official statement from Microsoft has yet to be made, Merrick, one of Nintendo of America's highest ranking technology executives, mentioned in passing that Xbox Live is the name and that the monthly access fee will be $14.95 in addition to some kind of up front fee. Yikes! Not only is this unprofessional for someone of this caliber and ranking from a leading competitor no less, to leak this kind of information, but to give out $dollar$ figures!!! Here's the cut and paste from Gamecube.ign:
IGNcube: Sony has already announced its online plans. Microsoft, we hear, is brewing a good one. Where does Nintendo stand? Perrin: Broadband. Jim: Sony and Microsoft have two different strategies. Sony has made a very good announcement. I'm not sure they have the plan behind it, but they've made a good announcement. They're at one end of the spectrum with GameSpy and the Tony Hawk thing going on -- do your own thing. Microsoft is at the opposite end of the spectrum with Xbox Live for $14.95 a month and some unknown amount of money up front, and of that the publishers get nothing. So it's a good business plan for Microsoft -- not so sure it's good for the publisher. And I'm also not so sure it's good for the consumer. I mean, $14.95 a month is fine for someone who's used to playing Everquest on the PC, but for the console gamer we'll have to wait and see. Nintendo, though, is not going to jump in just because Sony and Microsoft are doing something. You can't compete by following others
After this initial jolt to the gamers hearts (and wallets) Microsoft issued this statement:
"Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation, but I can tell you that we have not made any announcements about our Xbox online service, including pricing or the name of the service. We expect to make those announcements soon. Stay tuned," said James Bernard, Xbox Product Manager.
I guess we'll have to wait until May 22nd for the annoucement from Microsoft at E3.
[$14.95?!??! - Yikes!!!]


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